Hon. James “Jim” Ho

1991 Scholar

The Sweet Spot – Aligning Ambition & Impact

James C. Ho is a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Before taking the bench on January 4, 2018, he was a partner and co-chair of the national Appellate and Constitutional Law practice group of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

As an appellate litigator for over a decade, he presented 50 oral arguments in federal and state courts nationwide. He won numerous appeals, including three merits cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. His work has been cited favorably by courts at every level of both the federal and Texas judiciaries. He was routinely ranked among the nation’s leading lawyers by Benchmark, Chambers, Law360, The Legal 500, and The National Law Journal, among other publications. As the Solicitor General of Texas, he won a Best Brief Award from the National Association of Attorneys General for each of the three years that he served. He is the only state solicitor general ever invited by the U.S. Supreme Court to express the views of a state.

Judge Ho has served in all three branches of the federal government. On the Senate Judiciary Committee, he served as chief counsel of the Subcommittees on the Constitution and Immigration under Senator John Cornyn. At the Justice Department, he served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and attorney-advisor at the Office of Legal Counsel. He clerked for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In addition, Judge Ho has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law and senior editor of The Green Bag.

Taiwanese by birth and Texas by marriage, Judge Ho has been recognized for his leadership in the Asian-American community, including the President’s Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Asian Pacific American Leadership from the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership, the President George H.W. Bush Award from the Asian Pacific American Heritage Association, and the Justice David Wellington Chew Award from the State Bar of Texas.

Judge Ho graduated from Stanford University with honors and a B.A. in Public Policy in 1995, and the University of Chicago Law School with high honors in 1999. Before law school, he was a legislative aide to California State Senator Quentin Kopp. He and his wife Allyson live in Dallas, Texas, with their twin daughter and son.